Tuesday, August 15, 2006
This is Not a Fat Joke
The haves and the have nots: another way of looking at it.
Australian doctors are suggesting a fat tax to fight obesity in the nation -- the only country in which the obesity rate is growing faster in children than adults.
Here's a similar article in Forbes.
This is another American "export" that doesn't get the attention it deserves. As more developing nations adopt American ways of life and have access to American fast-food and other high-processed foods, the problem will worsen.
I don't believe that education alone is the way to fight the epidemic. As more people develop the busy lifestyles that fuel the desire for quick food on the go coupled with a decrease in exercise (i.e. sitting on front of the TV eating garbage) we need other incentives in place to combat the problem.
Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was warning of the problems of obesity last year. It would have been nice if he'd stuck with that theme while testing the Iowa waters earlier this year for a likely presidential run instead of climbing aboard the gay-bashing bandwagon.
This is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. A tax on fast-foods and other "junk" foods high in fats would have an unfortunate financial impact on low-income people, but is that worse than the impact of childhood obesity extending into adulthood? Ideally, fast-food chains would offer healthier product lines. Whether they can be relied upon to do this voluntarily is doubtful.
Anyone have any other ideas?